Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer hopes there will be an approved vaccine for secondary school students in the first semester of next school year.
fizer pledged to triple the Covid-19 vaccines to more than 2.21 million doses over the next three months; however, the vaccination of more than 80 adults with at least one dose of those released on the market will be by the end of June.
Paul Reid, president of Pfizer in Ireland, said he aims to provide data on a vaccine for students aged 12 to 15 for approval to regulatory agencies as soon as possible..
“We are very hopeful that the European Medicines Agency will approve the vaccine for 12-15 year olds,” he said. Irish Independentt.
A vaccine trial trial is also underway for children from six months to 11 years old.
In Ireland, 2,428 cases of Covid-19 have been seen in children under the age of 18 in the last two weeks, and 26 were hospitalized.
More than two million Pfizer vaccines will be sent to Ireland in the next three months. About 737,100 doses were provided here in the first quarter, and next Monday, St. 100 days after the first Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine arrived here on Stephen’s Day.
Mr. Reid, If the EU takes any action to block supply chains, market access could be blocked.
“We always wanted open supply chains. They are absolutely critical for us to manufacture and make the vaccine available.
“Take the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, there are different ingredients that go into the vaccine. Each of the components is manufactured in 86 different facilities in 19 different countries.
“If we have problems with the open supply chain, we can get some retaliation from countries that restrict the export of ingredients needed for the manufacture of the vaccine.
Therefore, it would not be beneficial to have any restrictions.
“Some of the components come from the UK and any retaliation from the UK to export restrictions will affect production capability.
“This seems to be mitigated and we have to be fine. The biggest focus right now is on production speed and being able to increase volume output as much as we can,” he said. Irish Independent.
Danny Hendrikse, Pfizer’s vice president of global procurement, said EU export rules pose a significant administrative burden.
In case AstraZeneca fails to fulfill its commitments to member states on Covid-19 vaccines, authorities vetoed blocking of exports from the EU in response to disappointment over vaccine supplies, but officials warn of restricting exports to the UK
Mr Reid says Pfizer provides a reliable supply here and never missed a week.
“We will have delivered over a million doses to Ireland by mid-April.”
The government hopes to receive more than one million doses per month from four suppliers (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson) in the next three months. One shortcoming will see about 860,000 doses of different vaccines administered this month.
Mr. Reid said that about four of the five vaccines administered here so far are the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The plan is to produce two and a half billion doses this year – more than one billion originally anticipated.
Ireland’s supplies come from the manufacturing facility in Puurs, Belgium, where 3,100 staff worked around the clock during the epidemic.
Luke Van Steenwinkel, field leader of the Puurs factory, said: “We work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our engineering department is also working on scaling up. “
In particular, real-life data from Israel show that the vaccine is effective in preventing people who develop symptomatic diseases..
Mr Reid said there are indications that the virus may be effective in reducing transmission.. However, more studies are needed to confirm this.
The challenge now is to try to stay one step ahead of the virus and protect as much of the population as possible.
One of the developments is a potential vaccine for children ages 12 to 15, and if approved, it could potentially be ready in the first semester of the next academic year.
Mr Reid said the company hopes to submit the data to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as soon as possible for approval. It contains two doses as for adults.
In addition, a vaccine trial for children from 6 months to 11 years of age is underway.
“If safety and immunogenicity is confirmed and authorization or approval from regulators is sought, we hope that the vaccine will be offered to these young children between 11 and 6 months of age by early 2022.”
The biggest threat to Ireland and other countries is the new mutations of the virus that could make vaccines less effective and leave authorities in a fight to re-control the spread.
Scientists are working on booster shots to protect against some of these species.
“We have to stay one step ahead. We are looking at a third dose of vaccine as a possible option.”
The Pfizer vaccine is effective against the UK strain that is most dominant here.
Two studies conducted this week showed that the Pfizer vaccine provides 100 parts protection against the South African variant and is likely highly protective against the Brazilian variant.
In the first in-human evidence of how the vaccine protects against variants, research published by the company showed that the vaccine was 100pc effective in preventing Covid-19 cases in South Africa where the South African variant is now common.
More trials involving more people are needed.
The research was part of a larger phase three clinical trial that showed the vaccine to be highly effective even after six months.
However, it is still unclear how long the vaccine will last to protect.
“The vaccine was developed in less than a year and less than 100 days after starting to vaccinate people.
“Now the goal is to vaccinate as many adults as possible.
The vaccine is just one of the tools that prevent the virus from spreading. We also need to heed public health advice on other measures. ”
He suggested that the fact that there was little hesitation about the vaccine here must be due in part to the European Medicines Agency’s meticulousness in assessing the efficacy and safety of Covid-19 vaccines before they are approved for use.
The feedback is that the Pfizer vaccine has been safe since its launch, and the side effects are in the expected range.
According to the European Medicines Agency, the latest safety data for the vaccine is in line with the known benefit-risk profile.
“The benefits of preventing Covid-19 continue to outweigh the risks, and there are no proposed changes regarding the use of this vaccine.”
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are currently administered here over 70 years old.
It was recently reported to GPs that supplies will increase from April 12. Initial doses for this age group should be substantially completed in the week starting on April 19.
The data show a large drop in the number of cases among those over the age of 85. It is predicted that this downward trend will continue with vaccines over the age of 70.
In January, there were an average of 38 outbreaks per week in nursing homes.
Last month this was an average of two per week.
The proven results of the vaccines increased the feeling of frustration and demanded a faster delivery.
Recent revelations of vaccines given to people ahead of schedule have undermined many people’s faith in the fairness and efficiency of distribution.
For this reason, April, May and June are seen as groundbreaking months when HSE cannot afford any mistakes.
They are also crucial to providing vulnerable people with as much protection as possible and encouraging people to abide by semi-lockout restrictions for weeks to prevent a fourth wave.
Even when it’s Ireland if vaccinated to about 80pc, there is a risk New variants coming here from low-income countries and still far behind developed countries in access to vaccines.
Mr. Reid said that Pfizer has now made a nonprofit agreement to supply 40 million doses of vaccine to 92 less developed countries.
Vaccines are distributed through the Covax program, which aims to share vaccines fairly between all nations, rich and poor.